You Can Play Golf Between Volcanoes and the Atlantic Ocean in Iceland

Golfers at Hornafjordur fjord, Iceland.
Golfers at Hornafjordur fjord, Iceland. | © ARCTIC IMAGES / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Camille Buckley
17 December 2018

The Icelandic landscape is incredibly beautiful and has everything from fjords and glaciers to waterfalls and lava fields. However, while Iceland and golf may not seem like a likely combination, the island’s golf courses will make you think differently.

Have you ever dreamed about playing golf during the midnight sun with lava fields surrounding you? In Iceland, that’s a possibility. The slow pace of golf is the perfect activity to take in the landscape of a place with so much incredible scenery. This is especially the case for Iceland’s most well-known golf course on Heimaey, the largest island in the Westman archipelago located off the south coast.

Heimaey | © Thomas Quine / Flickr

In July of 1973, a famous volcano eruption nearly caused a permanent evacuation of the whole island as the lava almost destroyed the harbour. Houses that were buried by the volcanic ash have been preserved as museums to this day.

The Westman Islands Golf Club was established in 1938 as a nine-hole golf course, which was expanded to 18 holes in the early 1990s. Because of its course, which meanders through the remnants of an extinct volcano, it is one of the most unique golfing experiences you can have with tees set up against the backdrop of the volcano walls.

Golf course in Westman Islands, Iceland. | © Milan Tesar/Shutterstock

This course is well-known for its incredible views of the sea and active bird life on the coasts. It’s easy to get to the islands by taking a ferry from the south coast. Here, the puffins arrive in the summer to mate and form the world’s biggest puffin colony, making it a popular bird-watching destination.

Westman Islanden – Golfen | © Patrick Rosenberg / Flickr

The golf course has hosted many championships and opens since it established itself as an 18-hole course. The Icelandic Championship was hosted there in 1996 and 2008 as well as the Scandinavian Championship for Amateurs in 2000. Each year, the Icelandair Volcano Open is held in July in dedication to the 1973 volcano eruption.

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